December 10 2013 Latest news:
by Zjan Shirinian
Saturday, October 19, 2013
This splash of colour is what Ilford Town Centre could look and feel like if a crucial vote is won.
• Street ambassadors who assist customers and businesses
• Town centre clean team
• Police team
• Ilford VIP – which offers deals to shoppers
• Planting scheme
• Public relations
• Festive lights
• Business support – including grant schemes
Business owners are being asked to put faith in the Ilford Business Improvement District (BID) and award it another five-year term.
As part of the vision which has been mapped out for Ilford Town Centre beyond April 2014, is the new “In Ilford” identity.
About 400 businesses in the town centre will have their say on whether to back the BID – which launched in April 2009.
Since then it has ploughed money from businesses into setting up a dedicated town centre police team, a cleaning team and a planting scheme – to name just a few.
But with that five-year mandate set to end in March, BID chiefs are hoping to win support for another five-year term, with voting to begin next week. Each business within the BID pays 1.2 per cent of its rateable value into it each year.
A business plan making the case for BID renewal says its budget between April 2014 and March 2019 will be £2.2million. BID manager Ben Collins said: “When you look at everything the BID has funded, without renewal, those things won’t be there any more.”
The new “In Ilford” identity will encompass anything and everything to do with the town centre – if the vote goes the way of BID renewal.
“It’s fresh, more vibrant and more modern,” said Ben of the logo. “We’re trying to encompass what Ilford is and what it has to attract people who should be using it.”
The business plan offers a “taster” of what will be delivered if renewal is rewarded.
For any of it to happen, not only do a majority of businesses have to vote in favour, but the total rateable value of those in favour must also exceed 50 per cent.
Ben said: “If we get businesses’ support for the next five years, we want to take it to the next step. We need to take Ilford to the next level.”
Voting begins on October 25 and ends on November 21, with the result expected the following day.